Scientist from Notre Dame part of original gravitational discovery team

A scientist involved in the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in space-time, caused by the merger of two black holes, grew up in Notre Dame, N.B. Rejean Dupuis, who got a young start staring up at the night sky in the small settlement, spent a decade as one of hundreds of scientists searching for evidence of the gravitational waves

Discovery announced by scientists from the international LIGO scientific collaboration Thursday

Markarian 231, a binary black hole found in the centre of the nearest quasar host galaxy to Earth, is seen in a NASA illustration. (NASA/Reuters)

A scientist who was involved in the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in space-time, caused by the merger of two black holes, grew up in Notre Dame, N.B.

Rejean Dupuis, who got a young start staring up at the night sky in the small settlement, spent a decade as one of hundreds of scientists searching for evidence of the gravitational waves — an effect that was predicted by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity 100 years ago.
Rejean Dupuis is a former scientist from Notre Dame who worked on discovering gravitational waves. (CBC)

Watching the announcement of the discovery was an emotional moment for Dupuis.

"It was very exciting and emotional knowing how much work has been put into this by so many people," said Dupuis.

Julie Dupuis is very proud of her brother and says she always knew he was destined for great things.

"From probably first or second grade, my mom had little books that she wrote what we wanted to be when we grew up, and she wrote astronomer every single year ... up to the day he graduated, and he went into that field," she said.

Dupuis describes her brother as a modest man - "He never really talks about anything of science or his job or anything like that when he does come for visits,so I don't think people know that part of him," she said.
Julie Dupuis says she is proud of her brother, Rejean Dupuis' involvement with the team that discovered gravitational waves. (CBC)

Rejean Dupuis left physics for finance a few years ago and now lives in England. Watching former friends and colleagues exult in their discovery, made him nostalgic and proud, he said.

"I'm going to go celebrating with U.K. scientists ... they are at a press release in London and I'm going to go join them."


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